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Wind, solar projects race to finish before tax credit expires

USA Today – August 25, 2008

Regardless of your thoughts on global warming, government waste and inefficiencies are something that most of us can agree on. To have alternative energy programs that are on or off, year after year, is simply a waste.  I understand the need to have finite limits to programs (except Social Security never seems to end) but they shouldn’t just stop.

Instead the programs should be weaned off of government assisted life support so that the economy can adjust.  Having these alternative forms of energy production suddenly cut off forces other programs to never start since the investors can’t be assured of a long and viable future.

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Should we all set up our own stills?

Popular Mechanics – May 8, 2008

Saw this article on Popular Mechanics.  It really isn’t that hard to set up your own still to create ethanol to burn in your flex fuel vehicle.  This Micro Fueler looks good but your housing association may have something to say about setting up a fueling station in your side yard!

While this isn’t going to make a huge dent in our development of CO2, it is an interesting idea to explore.  Perhaps the best way to reduce foreign oil dependence and cut back on CO2 pollution is to make everything smaller and closer to home.

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Al Gore’s Doomsday Clock

Wall Street Journal – July 22, 2008

Sometimes I think that this site exists solely to condemn Al Gore.  He is easily the person that we discuss more than all else when you consider his film, his rock concerts, and his foolish statements it seems that it is all that one can read on the subject of energy. And to think that this man was a heartbeat away from being the President of the United States for 8 years in addition to a few hanging chads from being elected to the office himself.

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McCain wants $30B for clean-coal research, 45 new nuclear reactors

Phoenix Business Journal – June 25, 2008

John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for US President, is deriding the Executive branch for their suggestions to curb energy prices as well as the Democratic leadership for its plans. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

Mr. McCain is proposing more aggressive investment in “clean” coal plants and nuclear energy.  Personally, I am not sure there is such a thing as a clean coal plant but I am all for it if we can make one!  I also think that we need to step up our reliance on nuclear energy and deal with the disposal issue which haunts that technology.

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Wind farm to be built off Delaware shore

This is great news!  We need more effort in creating alternative energy sources.  I wonder if they did an environmental impact analysis?  Were their “greenies” protesting or are they too busy blocking other green projects like nuclear plants?

Obviously, Mr. Kennedy doesn’t have a resort in Delaware!

Bluewater spokesman Jim Lanard said the power company will get about 16 percent of its electricity from a field of 150 wind turbines, anchored in the sea floor about a dozen miles off Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.


The offshore site is expected to be operational within four years, but the timing depends on how quickly regulatory agencies can review and approve the construction project.

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Gore Delivers Remarks on Energy and the Climate

Washington Post – July 17, 2008

Mr. Al Gore recently gave a speech in Washington DC regarding energy.  While many in the blogosphere will call Mr. Gore “Pope Gore” and refer to environmentalists as a religion, in this case, I don’t think that Mr. Gore makes many of the outlandish comments which I have chastised him about. Most of his comments are regarding energy independence, the status of the technology of alternative fuels, and the balance of power.

He does make a few global warming references which are a little hard to defend. He implies that the fires in California are caused by manmade global warming – this is probably not true since California has been enjoying an unusually wet climate for several decades and it appears that this current drought is simply going back to status quo.

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As carbon market grows, law firms cash in

Boston Business Journal – May 16, 2008

In my opinion, this is wrong in so many ways that I can barely count all of the problems! As my frequent readers know, I rant against carbon trading schemes all the time, so much so that my fingers are starting to be bruised. I have yet to see one that makes sense to me and this story typifies many of the problems. (If you want to stay up to speed on all of my thoughts on this subject, subscribe to the feed for this site).

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John McCain’s recent speech

Junkscience.com – May 15, 2008

I was about to write a review of John McCain’s recent speech.  I was reading other comments on it first to make sure that I had my thoughts put together and I found Steven Milloy’s review.  He has done an excellent job of discussing the speech.

I am going to pull the highlights from Steven’s article.  Click through at the end to read the whole commentary.

Next to solar power, however, wind power is the most heavily subsidized form of energy. Taxpayers cough up an astounding  $23.37 per megawatt hour of electricity produced, according to the Wall Street Journal. In contrast, coal and natural gas are only subsidized  to a tune of $0.44 and $0.25, respectively.

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Carbon-Market Concept Moves to Mainstream

Wall Street Journal – May 14, 2008

I really do not like the concept of trading in carbon. I think that carbon offsets trading only reward bad processes that are extremely cheap and are a band-aid to the real problem. If it is assumed that we need to vastly reduce the carbon footprint then the buying public should be encouraged to buy energy and products that result from lower carbon emissions and discouraged from buying the carbon rich ones.

Allowing a utility that has a coal burning plant in one part of the world to offset that footprint with a geo-thermal plant in another part of the world really doesn’t solve anything. If the two plants served the same marketplace, then their energy would compete but if the two plants are separated by oceans then we really haven’t solved any problems, we have just allowed a company to financially afford a carbon-rich coal plant.

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Trouble In Paradise: Global Warming A Greater Danger To Tropical Species

ScienceDaily – May 6, 2008

A team of University of Washington scientists has been studying the insect population of the tropics and concluded that an increase in temperature could many species at risk of extinction. I give more credence to these types of studies to articles on climate models since, in this case, it is possible to do some true cause and effect analysis as well as maintain a control group. The problem with climate models is that they are simply mathematical equations that are developed by mathematicians and then run on moderately powerful computers.

I wrote about Brazilian ants several months ago. This new study seems to be in contrast to the conclusions of that article. This is not unusual in science that different studies with different techniques results in different conclusions.

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